This was published by the York Dispatch, York Pa. on September 25, 2014:
OP-ED: Shame on Kreutz Creek Elementary
By MICKIE R. SINGER
Posted: 09/25/2014 09:48:51 AM EDT
Updated: 09/25/2014 09:49:42 AM EDT
It is amazing that a school would invite ignorance into their very doors, but Kreutz Creek Elementary has done just that. They have allowed a so-called Christian group to come into their school to provide, with parental permission, hours under “Released Time,” in which a child can be excused from a public school class to attend a Christian class on the Bible under the name of “religious instruction.”
Even though our nation’s law forbids a mixture of church and state, apparently a Pennsylvania statute states that school boards must comply with statutory requirements when granting excuses for religious instruction.
How such a statute ever came to be is beyond me; but then, we have hundreds of court decisions struck down yearly because someone with wisdom was able to prove a court’s decision was, in fact, unconstitutional.
Whether any religious group likes it or not, the United States is governed by that Constitution. It is only a matter of time before the ACLU or some other astute group strikes down this statute and Kreutz Creek — or any other school allowing this un-American activity to happen within its halls — will cease to be able to do so.
As a taxpayer whose taxes support the Eastern York School District, I hope that time comes soon.
In the meantime — Kreutz Creek Elementary, shame on you. For one thing, the statute specified time for “religious instruction,” not time for a specific religion’s instruction. Would you be just as welcoming to an organized religious group offering an educational program of instruction in Biblical Judaism, or the Koran, Zen Buddhism or Hindu belief systems? Are these not equally, as you described, providers of “moral and character development?” Do they not educate and encourage values?
Of course they do. But they are not Christian.
York County may have many Christian believers, but the fact is not all York countians are Christian. Are you ready to allow your children to be released from their classes to explore the morals and values other religious instruction can provide?
As an American public school, we want to see evidence you understand “public” is a word that refers to everyone. We want to see how an educational institution demonstrates understanding that in this country church and state do not belong together — for the moment we mix them, we are saying that America no longer belongs to everyone and anyone of any religious or non-religious belief.
There is nothing wrong with Christianity or Christian religious instruction. But they don’t belong in an American public school.
Religious instruction should never be the reason for an excused absence in a child’s public-supported education. How disappointing — and alarming — it is to watch you enact the opposite.
— Mickie R. Singer is a resident of Lower Windsor Township.
This was my response (don’t know if it will be published)
To the Editor of the York Dispatch:
Wow, it’s been sometime since I have seen such an ignorant, bigoted anti-Christian, anti-religion and outright hate speech as I saw with your Op-Ed column by Mickie Singer.
I served twenty-nine year s in the military, active & reserve, and so have certainly defended citizens right to free speech, but, Nazi’s march in Illinois (who are also hateful, bigoted, anti-Christians), so certainly I served to defend your free speech too.
Problem is that your very hateful op-ed, is seriously unfactual, to wit. You call Christianity “ignorance”, your lack of historical knowledge is rife through your piece. Our national culture is based on Christianity, legal, social, economic. To say otherwise shows a severe ignorance of American history and is just a frankly bigoted statement. The Constitution of the United States clearly states that the government shall not interfere in religious rights, while the “astute” ACLU has tried to prohibit freedom of religion to be practiced in government, the ACLU continually demonstrates its bias and bigotry by trying to shut up any religious discussion, which is a violation of the United States Constitution the third amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”, I am entitled to the free exercise of my religion, anywhere and at all times. You seem to want to restrict, you seem to feel entitled to your hate speech in this respect, but anyone else better shut-up.
I’m a taxpayer whose taxes go to things that I don’t appreciate, why do we teach abortion in school?
Anyone who can make a valid case, i.e. any generally recognized belief, can go through the process enumerated in Pennsylvania statutes Title 24 15-1546. You are not limited by your religious beliefs and point of fact, any school that refuses is in violation of the law. This issue is supported by Federal Statute and United States Supreme Court decisions.
It seems to me that life has to be exactly according to your world-view, well that’s simply not the way the world is. Yes, I know bullying, misrepresenting and hate are often the way to accomplish your goals, which have been historically utilized by the secular, which your arguments represent, those being communism, fascism, and terror groups in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. If you feel you need to be a part of an intolerant society, you would probably feel at home under those governments, but it seems you either ignore the historical, social, economic basis of the United States. Christianity has been the basis for all the sciences, all of the original education institutions from public elementary up through collegiate were based and founded on Christianity. All of the Ivy League schools were explicitly founded to the glory of God and the Christian religion. For many years classroom texts were the Bible, it was the only common resource. The famous “McGuffey Reader” taught Bible verses along with the ABC’s. Frankly considering our violent, substance abuse driven society of today, you are on the wrong side of the issues by endorsing secularism. The twentieth century was the bloodiest century in history, bloodier than all of history combined. It was the secular, communism, fascism, anti-religious movements that guided that century. Maybe it is a time to reinforce the virtues taught by religion and to get away from the self-centered teaching , prevalent in twentieth century America.
In the meantime, you really should temper your hateful, bigoted attacks and get the facts.